If the rest of this year has been any kind of litmus test, Thanksgiving 2017 promises to be one for the record books. And while by now you probably have food menu planned, don’t get bogged down in the family politics of seating arrangements and forget about the second-most important part of Thanksgiving Dinner: the drinks (and some of us would argue their importance even usurps the bird’s).
Wine and beer are always fine accompaniments, but few things impress guests more—and help friendly conversation flowing—like the offer of a well-mixed libation upon their arrival or once the dinner table has been cleared.
So whether you love a little bubbly, can’t get enough pumpkin spice, or just want something to help get you through sitting next to Loud Cousin Larry, here are a few cocktail recipes from some bar industry experts to help ensure everyone has a very Happy Thanksgiving:
1. Bergamot Negroni | Naren Young of Dante NYC, New York, NY
1 oz. Bombay Sapphire
.75 oz. Martini & Rossi Riserva Speciale Bitter
.75 oz. Martini & Rossi Riserva Speciale Ambrato
.25 oz. Italicus
3 dashes earl grey tincture (see recipe below)
3 dashes The Bitter Truth lemon bitters
Lemon leaf sprayed with bergamot oil for optional garnish
Combine all ingredients in mixing glass, stir, and strain into filled rocks.
Earl Grey Tincture
4 oz. of earl frey tea
500 ml of vodka
Steep earl grey in heated vodka. Let cool to room temperature then store in a cool space for 1-3 weeks shaking periodically. Strain solids from spirits, then store.
2. Harvest Sour | Bar Moga, New York, NY
.75 oz. lemon juice
.75 oz. simple syrup
1 oz. applejack
1 oz. rye whiskey
1 egg white
1 dash Angostura bitters
1 dash Peychaud bitters
Combine all ingredients except bitters in a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Finish with a dash each of Angostura and Peychaud bitters.
3. Hot Tamale | Center Bar, New York, NY
1.5 oz. Pelaton Mezcal
1 oz. Cimarron Tequila
.5 oz. Giffard Grapefruit
.25 oz. agave
4 Dashes Hellfire Bitters
Cinnamon tea top
Ensure teapot is full of hot water with a cinnamon tea bag inside and set aside. In a milk steaming tin, combine mezcal, tequila, Giffard, agave, and bitters. In a pulsing fashion, steam cocktail base 4-6 times. Pour cocktail base into glass mug. Serve with iced teaspoon and teapot.
4. Hyde Pilgrim | Ashley Velazquez of Hyde Beach at SLS South Beach, Miami Beach, Fla.
1.5 oz. Bailey's
.5 oz. Jim Beam Fire
.5 oz. vanilla vodka
3 star anise
Combine all ingredients in a shaker and shake well before straining into glass filled with ice. Top with a pinch of nutmeg.
5. Moët Honey & Spice
3 oz. Moët Imperial Brut
.5 oz. honey syrup (equal parts honey and hot water)
.5 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 oz. Cognac Hennessy VS
1 quarter-sized piece of fresh ginger
In a shaker, muddle the ginger with the honey syrup and lemon juice, add the cognac ice, and shake. Double strain into a rocks glass with a big ice cube. Top with the Moët Brut Imperial and garnish with a piece of candied ginger in a pick.
6. Muddy Waters | Chris Johst of Parkside in Brooklyn, NY
.75 oz. Fernet Vallet*
.25 oz. Amaro Averna
1.25 oz. pumpkin spice syrup (see recipe below)
1 oz. lemon juice
*Can be substituted for Fernet Branca in a pinch
Shake all ingredients, strain over ice into a Collins glass, and top with club soda. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Pumpkin Spice Syrup
3 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 cups brown sugar
6 cinnamon sticks
2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
½ cup pumpkin puree
Heat water and sugar in pot, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Add all other ingredients and allow mixture to simmer while stirring frequently for 5 minutes. Fine strain through a chinois.